I am a cycling website forum verteran, but new to bikeforums.net. Seems like lots of activity here. Nice.
Anyhoo, I am a mid-thirties aged guy with a wife and two small kids, a large unsmart beagle X dog and a new chocolate lab puppy.
We live in a small town in Eastern Ontario.
Our town has really nice intermediate difficulty trails on both ends of town (3 min ride from my house to either set of trails), most of which are expertly groomed for XC skiing in the winter. People who live in my town and work at the laboratories (in the next town over) have the option to ride their bikes to work on an emergency access road closed to vehicular traffic - 14km of perfectly smooth dirt with no cars. Or we can drive 15 km on a narrow potholed highway, sharing the road with 2000 other cars during the morning commute. My boss, many of his peers, and some of the higher-level execs choose to ride in... riding a bike in our town is like playing golf - you can do it for fun or you can hang out and schmooze and network In the winter, XC skiiing is the same. In fact, I met my boss XC skiing before I worked for him
I road raced in highschool with limited success at the regional level. I tried mountain bike racing but even as a skinny feeble teenager I weighed around 200lbs, and the body english necessary to control a mountain bike at high speed took more energy than I could produce. I got into recreational trail riding and enjoyed moderately paced long rides (4 - 8 hours), sometimes including riding my bike some distance out of town before I even got to the trails.
My first job as a teenager was in a bike shop, and I worked as a mechanic/salesperson/manager in various shops around Ontario until I was in my early thirties. I developed a passin for bicycles and I consider reliability and durability to be the most important aspects of bicycle performance (after rider fit). My personal bikes are all several years old and all components are chosen as high-quality, no bs, mostly servicable parts that allow me to do as little maintenance as possible and still have perfectly working bikes (think loose bearing hubs and bar-end shifters).
I ride to work, tow the kids around town in the Chariot, run errands like beerstore and groceries and occaisonal scrap lumber scavanging. I still get out for a couple good road rides on my old racing bike every summer. The highways and country roads around town are poor so I use my touring bike for most of my recreational riding.
But enough about me....
Looking forward to having some pleasant conversation and otherwise